The Fix: foreign policy

Americans rate Obama’s foreign policy ‘meh’

Do Americans support President Obama's handling of Ukraine? Whoa there, it's a little too early to say.

But the public's lackluster view of Obama's foreign policy to date offer some clues on how the current conflict might play out. The latest Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted Thursday through Sunday finds Obama receiving middling ratings for handling foreign policy as his administration heads into the Ukraine crisis. Forty-seven percent approve of the job he is doing handling international affairs and 45 percent disapprove.

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Americans are tilting more libertarian on foreign policy. Why it matters for GOP politics.

Americans are tilting more libertarian on foreign policy. Why it matters for GOP politics.

Should the United States mind its own business when it comes to international relations? Most Americans think so, according to a new survey released this week that holds deep implications for Republican politics.

In the poll conducted by the Pew Research Center in conjunction with the Council on Foreign Relations, more than half of Americans (52 percent) agree that the United States should let other countries get along on their own. Just 38 percent say they disagree with the idea. It's the largest gap in favor of the former line of thinking in the half-century history of the question, signaling perhaps the most widespread isolationist sentiment in decades.

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Team America no longer wants to be the World’s Police

Team America no longer wants to be the World’s Police

We’ve written repeatedly in this space over the past two weeks about how much Americans (and Congress) don’t want to get involved in what’s going on in Syria. This much is clear.

But Americans’ hesitation isn’t really about Syria; it’s more about their increasingly non-interventionist attitude toward foreign policy.

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Obama’s Syria posture: Punishment takes a back seat to deterrence

Obama’s Syria posture: Punishment takes a back seat to deterrence

President Obama on Tuesday hit the pause button on the prospect of a military strike against Syria, telling the nation in a prime-time address that he intends to first pursue a potential diplomatic solution to the problem of President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons.

“It’s too early to tell whether this offer will succeed,” said Obama about a Russian plan for Syria to hand over control of its chemical weapons, “and any agreement must verify that the Assad regime keeps its commitments. But this initiative has the potential to remove the threat of chemical weapons without the use of force, particularly because Russia is one of Assad’s strongest allies.”

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Chris Christie vs. Rand Paul: A fight with two winners

Chris Christie vs. Rand Paul: A fight with two winners

Typically, a fight produces a winner and a loser. But that's not the case in the spat between New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). In their clash over national security ideology, both men stand to gain politically in the near term.

Christie's hard stance against the libertarian view of foreign policy and national security espoused by Paul is one that by political necessity he must adopt right now.

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Why Benghazi is a perfect political storm for Republicans

Why Benghazi is a perfect political storm for Republicans

Amid the ongoing uncertainty swirling in Washington about who knew what when in regards to the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on Benghazi, Libya that left four Americans dead, one thing has become crystal clear: Benghazi isn't going away as a political issue any time soon.

Why? Because, wherever you come down on the policy debate surrounding the attack, the politics of demanding more information and answers about what happened are an absolute slam dunk for Republicans seeking to show their base a willingness to hold President Obama accountable.

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The 4 memorable moments from Hillary Clinton's Benghazi testimony (VIDEO)

The 4 memorable moments from Hillary Clinton's Benghazi testimony (VIDEO)

Secretary Clinton's long-awaited testimony about the Sept. 11 attack on a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, began Wednesday morning in an appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The two-and-a-half hour session wasn't short on drama. Below we take a look at four memorable moments from the proceedings. Clinton is set to testify on the House side later this afternoon and we'll be updating this post with more later in the day. Stay tuned.

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Jay Leno envisions Sen. John Kerry as secretary of state (VIDEO)

With speculation swirling that President Obama could nominate Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) to be his next secretary of state as soon as this week, NBC's Jay Leno projected ahead on his Tuesday night show, envisioning how a Secretary Kerry might work.

"It looks like President Obama is going to pick John Kerry as our next secretary of state," Leno said in his opening monologue on "The Tonight Show." "This is a very strategic move when it comes to our foreign policy. Obama plans to use Kerry; see, he will bore our enemies to death."

Check out the joke below.

Mark Warner won't run for governor of Virginia in 2013

Mark Warner won't run for governor of Virginia in 2013

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Secession petitions raise worthwhile questions,' Ron Paul says

Secession petitions raise worthwhile questions,' Ron Paul says

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Taking the ‘foreign policy’ out of foreign policy debate

Taking the ‘foreign policy’ out of foreign policy debate

We’ve said for a while on this blog that foreign policy quite simply isn’t a priority for the vast majority of American voters right now.

And that was definitely the case Monday night — even in a debate that was supposed to be about foreign policy. Throughout the debate, the candidates seemed anxious to return to issues of domestic policy.

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The final presidential debate, by the numbers

The final presidential debate, by the numbers

The presidential debate portion of the campaign program is now complete, after President Obama and Mitt Romney tangled for the final time Monday night during a 90-minute session in Boca Raton, Fla. From Libya to Iran, China to Afghanistan, and even the domestic economy, the candidates waded through the differences (and similarities) in their policy positions.

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Obama and Romney battle for voters’ trust on issues

As the candidates square off in their second debate, likely voters split about evenly between President Obama and Mitt Romney in their overall vote choice as well as whom they trust to handle the economy in a Washington Post-ABC News poll released Monday. But (as the graphic below shows,) Obama holds advantages on two of the other six issues tested in the poll, while Romney holds one edge going into the debate at Hofstra University (follow all things debate on “The Grid“).


Graphic: Erin Eastabrooks

Obama holds a 50 to 43 percent edge on trust to handle international affairs (a focus of tonight’s sparring), and a 54 to 41 percent advantage on handling Medicare. Romney holds a 51 to 43 percent edge on handling the deficit. The two are essentially tied on trust to handle taxes and health care, and on the economy, still the campaign’s dominant issue. 

(Note: Be sure to check out the Post’s Issue Engine, where you can read about each candidate’s position, endorse a candidate’s views).

How the Clintons are doing some heavy lifting for Obama

How the Clintons are doing some heavy lifting for Obama

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told CNN on Monday that she takes “full responsibility” for security issues in Libya leading up to the attack that claimed the lives of four Americans there last month. In doing so, she added to the already considerable impact of the Clinton name on this election. 

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Netanyahu keeps his distance from U.S. presidential election, won’t echo Romney’s criticism of Obama

Netanyahu keeps his distance from U.S. presidential election, won’t echo Romney’s criticism of Obama

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to endorse Mitt Romney’s criticism of President Obama’s policy toward Israel in an interview Sunday, and wouldn’t wade into  the U.S. presidential race, saying that preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon “is really not a partisan issue.”

In an interview on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” host David Gregory asked Netanyahu about Romney’s claim that the Obama administration has thrown Israel “under the bus.”

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Libyan president says U.S. consulate attack was premeditated; U.S. Ambassador Rice says it began spontaneously

Libyan President Mohamed Yousef El-Magariaf said he is convinced a Tuesday attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that left four Americans dead was premeditated, but the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said Sunday that the protests near the consulate began spontaneously, but were later hijacked by armed extremists.

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Mitt Romney’s foreign trip didn’t go well. Does it matter?

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney later today wraps up his foreign tour, a trip that drew a series of negative headlines and has left many Republicans wondering what exactly the GOP presidential nominee was hoping to accomplish.

The assessments of the trip, which saw Romney visit London, Israel and Poland over the past week, ranged from scathing to resigned among the Republican professional political class.

“I find this entire trip borderline lunacy,” said one senior Republican strategist granted anonymity to speak candidly. “Why on earth is he seeking to improve his foreign policy cred when there will not be a single vote cast on that subject?”

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Obama’s foreign policy image: from dove to tough guy

Former president George W. Bush said during the unveiling of his official portrait Thursday at the White House that President Obama can now look at his picture in times of peril and ask, “What would George do?”

It was a joke.

But when it comes to foreign policy, the image of Obama is starting to look a little like the 43rd president. Namely: a tough guy.
President Obama is joined by former president George W. Bush in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington in this January 16, 2010 file photo. (REUTERS/Larry Downing/Files)

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Could 2012 be a foreign policy election?

Could 2012 be a foreign policy election?

The slaying of 16 Afghan civilians by a member of the U.S. military and the recent call by that country’s president for American troops to pull back faster than originally planned have thrust foreign policy back to the center of the presidential race.

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, the favorite to be the Republican presidential nominee in November, blasted President Obama for “a lack of leadership” in the current situation in Afghanistan during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday”.

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Moammar Gaddafi, President Obama and the 2012 election

Moammar Gaddafi, President Obama and the 2012 election

The death of deposed Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi will be touted by Democrats as another foreign policy success story for President Obama but seems unlikely to seriously affect his political fortunes heading into a 2012 campaign still laser-focused on the struggling U.S. economy.

Reports of Gaddafi’s passing come just days after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Libya and expressed hope that he would be either captured or killed. It’s been nearly eight months since President Obama authorized military intervention in Libya, an involvement that led to Gaddafi’s removal from power.

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Herman Cain’s know-nothing foreign policy (and why it matters)

Herman Cain’s know-nothing foreign policy (and why it matters)

Herman Cain is no foreign policy maven.

Asked this past Sunday whether Iran’s involvement in an alleged plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the U.S. amounted to an act of war, Cain told “Meet the Press” moderator David Gregory: “After I looked at all of the information provided by the intelligence community, the military, then I could make that decision.”

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